Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

BBC to Launch New £30m Scottish TV Channel

The new channel, which will broadcast between the hours of 7 pm and midnight, will hit the airwaves in the autumn of 2018. It will feature an hour-long 9 pm news programme focussing on stories from north of the border.

Tony Hall, the BBC Director General, announced the plans to staff during a visit to BBC Scotland headquarters at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. He also pledged an increase of £20m in the amount spent on original Scottish drama and factual programming.

The as yet unnamed channel will replace Scottish programmes currently shown on BBC Two.

In a statement, Hall said: "I said at the beginning of the year that the BBC needed to be more creative and distinctive. The BBC is Britain’s broadcaster, but we also need to do more for each nation just as we are doing more for Britain globally.

"We know that viewers in Scotland love BBC television, but we also know that they want us to better reflect their lives and better reflect modern Scotland. It is vital that we get this right. The best way of achieving that is a dedicated channel for Scotland.

"The additional investment in Scottish drama and factual programming rightly recognises both the need to do more across our output and the huge pool of talent available in Scotland. We do make great programmes here, such as Shetland, Britain’s Ancient Capital – Secrets of Orkney, Two Doors Down and the brilliant Still Game – but we do need to do more."

Nicola Sturgeon MSP: Coming to a TV channel near you.

The Scottish Government has long be campaigning for increased BBC investment in Scotland.

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: "While the increased investment in both journalism and wider production in Scotland is long overdue, this is a very positive development. [It is] vital that the new BBC Scotland channel has complete commission and editorial independence, and is provided with the funding needed to match ambition."

The introduction of the new channel will mean that almost three-quarters of Scottish TV licence revenue will be spent on programmes aimed at the Scottish audience.

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Saturday, 4 February 2017

National Audit Office TV Licence Review Evidence

In August 2016 the media went into a frenzy when the National Audit Office published a report claiming that TV Licensing had the technology to detect online viewers without a valid TV licence.

Many commentators seized on the idea that the BBC had somehow developed technology that allowed it to "sniff" the packets of data being delivered to people's wireless networks.

Even if the BBC did possess such magical technology, the evidence gathered would in no way prove that an offence was being committed at the property where the wireless network was installed.

The BBC provided evidence to the National Audit Office to support its claims that unlicensed online viewers had been prosecuted in the same manner as those viewing unlicensed by conventional means.

Yesterday, in its response to a Freedom of Information request placed by WhatDoTheyKnow.com user Mr I. Hillas, the National Audit Office released some of the evidence the BBC had provided to help it prepare its report.

In particular, the BBC provided a paper trail of evidence demonstrating how a Polish immigrant convicted of TV licence evasion was "brought to justice".

The gentleman in question had been convicted of viewing a Polish TV channel online, but in common with every other TV Licensing conviction the case hinged on only one piece of evidence - the word of a goon that had visited his property. No packet sniffing, no data interception, no secretive surveillance - the conviction boiled down to claims made by a commission chasing Crapita foot soldier.

Having studied this case in detail, we again have serious concerns about the quality of evidence gathered by TV Licensing. There are glaring contradictions in TV Licensing's evidence, which any defence lawyer would have spotted and discredited within seconds.

According to the completed TVL178 form the goon claimed he was refused entry and did not see or hear any TV programmes, yet on the other hand he claimed to have inspected the Polish gentleman's Apple laptop and found evidence of Polish TV channels. Those two claims directly contradict each other. 

Unfortunately the charges were "proven" in the absence of any plea by the defendant - in other words the court simply accepted TV Licensing's claim, highly implausible as that may have been, that an offence had been committed in the manner described.

Further evidence, as if any were needed, of the importance of defending any charges of TV licence evasion in court. Quite often TV Licensing's evidence just doesn't pass muster.

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Six Nations Rugby TV Licence Requirements

For the first time in living memory the scaremongering PR harlots at TV Licensing have not issued threats specifically targeted at Six Nations rugby fans.

Virtually every year some of TV Licensing's scummiest mouthpieces (think bald heads and buck teeth) fill the papers with tripe about £1,000 fines for anyone caught enjoying the rugby without a valid TV licence. For some reason it hasn't happened this year.

Anyone wishing to watch the games "live", at the time they are broadcast on any TV channel, should be correctly licensed to do so. However, there are a multitude of legal ways of enjoying your favourite Six Nations coverage without stumping up £145.50 to the blind-eye turning BBC.

Here are a few ways to enjoy the Six Nations without a TV licence:

1. Watch it non-live via an on demand service: You do not need a licence to enjoy previously broadcast non-live coverage via on demand services like the ITV Hub, All 4, My5 (the on-demand service, not the TV channel) or YouTube. Please note that a TV licence is now required to watch on demand BBC iPlayer content.

2. Watch live at a friend's place: If they've got a TV licence you could go and watch their telly instead. If you didn't want to impose you could take your laptop around and stream live TV via their broadband connection.

3. Watch live at the pub/club: I'm reliably informed by student friends that you can nurture a soft drink for at least two hours if you sip it slowly. That's just enough time to watch the game.

4. Watch live at your local electrical retailer: Electrical retailers do not need a TV licence for their display sets. If you're a bit of a cheapskate you could visit Currys and watch the best events there.

5. Become a TV engineer: If you're a TV fixer upper then you do not need a TV licence to test equipment you're working on.

We don't condone anyone taking a chance by watching the Six Nations without a valid TV licence. That said, we're so not bothered if anyone chooses to do just that!

The 2017 Six Nations schedule is as follows:

Round 1:
  • Scotland v Ireland at BT Murrayfield StadiumEdinburgh 
  • England v France at Twickenham StadiumLondon 
  • Italy v Wales at Stadio OlimpicoRome 
Round 2:
  • Italy v Ireland at Stadio OlimpicoRome 
  • Wales v England at Principality StadiumCardiff 
  • France v Scotland at Stade de FranceParis 
Round 3:
  • Scotland v Wales at BT Murrayfield StadiumEdinburgh 
  • Ireland v France at Aviva StadiumDublin 
  • England v Italy at Twickenham StadiumLondon 
Round 4:
  • Wales v Ireland at Principality StadiumCardiff 
  • Italy v France at Stadio OlimpicoRome 
  • England v Scotland at Twickenham StadiumLondon 
Round 5:
  • Scotland v Italy at BT Murrayfield StadiumEdinburgh 
  • France v Wales at Stade de FranceParis 
  • Ireland v England at Aviva StadiumDublin 
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